Thursday, May 9, 2013

Best Practices for SEO - Part 2

This is the second part of Best Practices of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). These little practices bellow will help a lot for any websites or blogs to increasing traffic. Click to the link provided at the bottom of the post.

Improve the structure of your URLs:

 Use words in URLs:
  • URLs with words that are relevant to your site's content and structure are friendlier for visitors navigating your site. Visitors remember them better and might be more willing to link to them.
Try to avoid:
  • Using lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs
  • Choosing generic page names like "page1.html"
  • Using excessive keywords
Create a simple directory structure:
  • Use a directory structure that organizes your content well and makes it easy for visitors to know where they're at on your site. Try using your directory structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL.
Try to avoid:
  • Having deep nesting of subdirectories like ".../dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/dir6/page.html"
  • Using directory names that have no relation to the content in them.
Provide one version of a URL to reach a document:
  • To prevent users from linking to one version of a URL and others linking to a different version (this could split the reputation of that content between the URLs), focus on using and referring to one URL in the structure and internal linking of your pages. If you do find that people are accessing the same content through multiple URLs, setting up a 301 redirect from non-preferred URLs to the dominant URL is a good solution for this. You may also use canonical URL or use the rel="canonical" link element if you cannot redirect.
Try to avoid:
  • Having pages from sub-domains and the root directory access the same content - e.g. "" and "".
  • Using odd capitalization of URLs, many users expect lower-case URLs and remember them better.

Make your site easier to navigate:

 Create a naturally flowing hierarchy:
  • Make it as easy as possible for users to go from general content to the more specific content they want on your site. Add navigation pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into your internal link structure.
Try to avoid:
  • Creating complex webs of navigation links, e.g. linking every page on your site to every other page.
  • Going overboard with slicing and dicing your content (so that it takes twenty clicks).
Use mostly text for navigation:
  • Controlling most of the navigation from page to page on your site through text links makes it easier for search engines to crawl and understand your site. Many users also prefer this over other approaches, especially on some devices that might not handle Flash or JavaScript.
Try to avoid:
  • Having a navigation based entirely on drop-down menus, images, or animations,- many, but not all, search engines can discover such links on a site, but if a user can reach all pages on a site via normal text links, this will improve the accessibility of your site.
Put an HTML site map page on your site, and use an XML Sitemap file:
  • A simple site map page with links to all of the pages or the most important pages (if you have hundreds or thousands) on your site can be useful. Creating an XML Sitemap file for your site helps ensure that search engines discover the pages on your site.
Try to avoid:
  • Letting your HTML site map page become out of date with broken links
  • Creating an HTML site map that simply lists pages without organizing them, for example by subject.
Have a useful 404 page:
  • Users will occasionally come to a page that doesn't exist on your site, either by following a broken link or typing in the wrong URL. Having a custom 404 page that kindly guides users back to a working page on your site can greatly improve a user's experience. Your 404 page should probably have a link back to your root page and could also provide links to popular or related content on your site. Google provides a 404 widget that you can embed in your 404 page to automatically populate it with many useful features. You can also use Google Webmaster Tools to find the sources of URLs causing "not found" errors.
Try to avoid:
  • Allowing your 404 pages to be indexed in search engines (make sure that your web-server is configured to give a 404 HTTP status code when non-existent pages are requested)
  • Providing only a vague message like "Not found", "404", or no 404 page at all
  • Using a design for your 404 pages that isn't consistent with the rest of your site.
Source: Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide from Google

Thanks a lot for reading this post.

other related posts:

Best Practices for SEO -Part 1
SEO Best Practices - Part 3
SEO Best Practices - Part 4
SEO Tips - Best Practices Part 5
SEO Tips - use Google Webmaster Tools 
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